Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Summer Reading by Nick Ruotolo
Setting and theme
The setting of Salem Lot is crucial to the overall story. Salems Lot is a small, isolated town in Maine, and this is crucial because the story couldn't take place with these settings. Being small, Salem's Lot doesn't have many people, which means that less people will notice the shrinking population, and eventually, Barlow is rushing to turn the population into vampires. At the same time that this is happening, Ben is attempting to save the same people, but this attempt fails as everyone either gets turned, or dies, except for Ben and Mark. Also, since Salem's Lot is isolated, the surrounding towns won't have as much of a clue as to what is happening compared to the same situation occurring in a town that has neighbors nearby to densely populated areas of the town.
Throughout the novel, the theme of belief is shown in a few ways. Belief protects certain characters, but it also leads others to their downfall. The characters that believe the most in the existence of the vampires and in the power of traditional remedies to repel them are the ones who survive the longest.
Mark has a large set of horror monster models that he adores, and with these, he knows a substantial amount about monsters from watching horror movies. He knows about the most common ways to repel these vampires. When Danny and Susan each separately come to Mark's window, he knows that the vampires can only come into his house if someone invites them in. Unlike the adults, when the vampire Danny attempts to control his mind, Mark knows what is happening and he attempts and effectively fights it. Needless to say, Mark being a nerd saved his life.